Boyle claims brilliant bronze at World Champs

Last updated 07:56 29/07/2013
Lauren Boyle
Reuters
BRILLIANT BRONZE: Lauren Boyle has won the bronze medal in the 400m freestyle at the FINA Swimming World Championships.

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Auckland swimmer Lauren Boyle won New Zealand's first medal at the world championships since 1994, this morning.

Boyle took out the bronze medal in the 400m freestyle on the opening night of finals at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Barcelona. 

Boyle, 25, was fourth fastest in qualifying and went one better in the final to finish third behind the Olympic gold medallist Katie Ledecky (USA) and silver medallist Melanie Costa Schmid (Spain). 

Her time of 4.03.89 was 0.26sec outside her personal best, which was set in the heats of last year's London Olympics.

It is New Zealand's sixth medal at a world championships.

Boyle joins Danyon Loader (three medals in 1994), Anthony Mosse (1986) and Gary Hurring (1978) with her achievement.

Boyle said she understood the significance of her performance today, in winning the first world championship medal since Loader's three medal haul in 1994 in Rome.

"It makes me feel emotional. I am so proud to be in that same league as Danyon. What an honour. He has achieved so much for our country and I am not at his level but to be in the same kind of league is quite incredible.

"The most important thing for me was just trying to be confident in myself. I have had lots of different coaches but I think picking the best parts out of each experience is probably what helped me.

"I wanted to improve my results from London and I am so happy to be on the podium."

Boyle sat in fourth position, approaching the final turn, but produced an outstanding 29.48 burst, over the final 50m, the quickest out of anyone in the final, to move up into third position."I went out pretty fast in my heat and I really paid for it in the second 200m this morning so I didn't really want to do the same thing tonight," she said. 

"I felt a lot stronger in the last 50 than I did this morning.

"It was a really good swim. I am really happy with it. I think I did well at just racing it instead of getting too caught up with what time I was going to go. It was my goal to get a medal and I can't be happier.

Boyle finished eighth in the 400m at the Games final last year, and was sixth at the 2011 world championships.

Boyle will also line up in her favoured 800m freestyle event, and the 1500 during the world championships.

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